After years away I have fully rejoined the country music fan base. I have seen a couple concerts and I am an avid listener to country music radio once again like I was as a child. During this time I have become a big fan of the Zac Brown Band. One of their new songs is called "Free" and these lyrics got me thinking about freedom recently.
So we live in our old van, travel all across this land, me and you...Just as free, free as we'll ever be. - Zac Brown Band
That verse rings true because there is something about being on the open road that is freeing. When I was in college I worked a few summers at a U-Haul center. Sometimes I would have to travel to another town to pick up a truck that we needed and drive it back to our center. I remember how free it felt to drive those big lumbering 26 foot moving vans. It was as close as I will get to being a truck driver. I always had the windows down no matter what the temperature. Between my legs was a sugar and caffeine filled bottle of Mt. Dew. In my left hand was always a slowly smoldering cigarette. As I drove a few hours along the highways of NE Arkansas with absolutely nothing on my mind I felt free.
Later after I graduated college I used my freedom in other ways. At that time I felt free to go out to a local bar and grill 4 or 5 times a week for supper. I always took the same chair at the bar. The bartender would give me the remote control, and I would put it on whatever sporting event I wanted to watch. Every night in the summer it was Cardinals baseball. Then I would order my food without benefit of a menu, as the bartender automatically poured me a cold draft beer. Sitting atop my perch bellied up to the bar I felt free.
Eventually the bar was replaced by other hobbies. Just months before I met Arica I bought a fishing boat. Since then my favorite hobby has been bass fishing. I love to get up before sunrise on those chilly April and May mornings to head to the lake. I make my 20 minute drive out to beautiful lake Ouachita where there is no shoreline construction. Out on the lake it is just me and my boat surrounded by mountains and forests. In the middle of the lake as the sun comes up over the pine covered peaks I feel free.
While it is true that having a kid has cut into fishing time and cut out time at the bar I still feel free. You see as a Dad you are allowed another type of freedom. A type that couldn't be matched by scaling Mt. Everest, fishing in the pre-oil spill gulf, or anything else in the world.
When I come home from work and Braden runs across the room to greet me with a DADDY!! I feel free.
Free from sadness.
Free from worry.
Free from pain.
Free from stress.
Free from any problem this world can throw at at me.
The love of my son makes me feel, to borrow from Mr. Brown, "Free as I'll ever be."